News

Category: Events

Taking place in Los Angeles, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is the world’s premier trade show for the games industry. This year over 52,000 people attended – even Kanye West made an appearance (playing Street Fighter V behind a privacy screen, so I’m told).

Blockbuster game announcements included Fallout 4, Halo 5, Uncharted 4, Lara Croft’s next adventure and a new game in the Gears of War franchise. Design led games include Unravel, Abzu, The Last Guardian. And for a dose of nostalgia, it was all about the Final Fantasy 7 remake.

I was on the show floor checking out the best that the industry had to offer, with a team supporting from our UK HQ. Here are some of the top trends we spotted this year.

Virtual Reality

Microsoft had previously revealed an Oculus Rift tie-up and at E3 they announced a Valve partnership, meaning its HTC Vive VR headset will work on Windows 10. The company also revealed a new live demo of its Hololens augmented reality headset running Minecraft.

Everyone from Paper Crane in the Indie Cade area (a section of the showfloor showcasing indie games) to our client FOVE, who were showing off their eye-tracking VR technology, show that that fans are eager for an immersive gaming experience and see if it lives up to the hype.

May the E3 force be with you

Star Wars fans – which includes most of the Dynamo office – were finally able to see the long awaited Star Wars Battlefront gameplay footage.

EA demoed the Battle of Hoth, available November 17 (one month before the new Star Wars film debuts in cinemas). You can play as Luke and Darth Vader among other Star Wars characters, and gamers will be pleased to see that it actually looks damn pretty good.

Release date anticipation

Sony announced a remake of Final Fantasy 7 with no actual release date, Uncharted 4 and The Last Guardian have long awaited launches, and some were even shown for the second year running at E3 with no nearby official release.

This approach which was more prevalent in 2015 gives game developers a chance to get it right and give fans what they want.

Power to the creative gamer

With PC gaming and its penchant for user-created content on the rise, this year we saw its impact spread to other platforms.

LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule revealed Dreams, and Bethesda is offering more scope for user mods after the success of Skyrim (cheeeese?). Other games include GTA V, Fallout and Doom.

On the consumer side is Nintendo’s Mario Maker, where I created my own 2D levels in the style of various titles from across the series’ history. Our client Bloxels also demoed their “build your own videogame” Kickstarter project.

Making gaming more inclusive

Horizon and ReCore featured female protagonists in their debut trailers, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate and Dishonored 2 now have female protagonists too.

EA, as well as revealing that the new FIFA 14 release will have “interception intelligence” to improve gameplay mechanics, also announced in a first for the soccer franchise that there would be female teams.

To many this is a welcome change, showing that the industry is moving in right direction and opening gameplay out to become more inclusive.

So who won?

There are a ton of articles as to who “won”  E3 and it is reckoned to be one of the strongest E3s in quite a bit. In my view, it is ultimately the gamers who won, after all we all want to engage and excite them.  A great tool we use for some of our clients is Brandwatch, and here is its analysis looking at social to find E3’s winner.

Avatar
By Dynamo Team
Categories: Events, Gaming, Knowledge

This week nearly 2,000 companies exhibited at Mobile World Congress, the annual shindig for all things Mobile which takes place in Barcelona every year. Dynamo had a team on the ground working and networking, and a team supporting from our UK HQ. Now that the doors are close, here are some of the top trends we spotted this year.

Flat pack your PR

This year’s surprise entrant was IKEA announcing a range of furniture with wireless charging, and Google announcing (in a limited form) they were now going to become (as well) a wireless carrier. Many of the news announcements had been predictable, but to get the best out of these events it’s good to allow some wiggle room and react on your feet with PR.

Super Sunday

Typically now, the day ‘before’ the show is one of the most important for PR as big brands try to take over the show by releasing before the noise of the show floor becomes too much. This year, Qualcomm made a mistake by trying to bus journos out to the F1 testing race course, and unfortunately most journos stayed closed to the Fira where most of the big events were happening.

Heavy Metal

Many Android phones look pretty similar but this year saw Samsung copying HTC’s unibody design and introducing a ‘curved’ phone. Anyone remember the Nokia banana phone? Anyway, the move away from cheap plastic into premium feeling phones is a good move for any smartphone company wanting to stay at the top table.

Wearables, Nearables and Hearables

MWC was as much about everything connected to mobiles, as the devices or networks themselves. Pebble announced a smart strap (beating Kickstarter records at the same time), and there were plenty of  3D printers, VR headsets and connected cars all making headlines. We love Huawei’s smartwatch which we think will give other manufacturers a run for their money.

Paul Cockerton
By Paul Cockerton

Last night we walked away with two PRMoment awards for Best Small Agency of the Year and Media Relations Campaign of the Year.

Competing against over 600 entries, we were shortlisted for nine awards for our work on smash hit Kickstarter M3D and the Bathrooms.com ‘BathroomSweets’ campaign, as well as for best agency categories.

It’s a great achievement to be awarded for our work in both the media relations category as well as consultancy, proving our creativity and expertise to deliver truly global campaigns.

Dynamo helped M3D raise more than $3.2 million on Kickstarter last year, allowing 3D printer The Micro to go into production. By pre-briefing journalists with their very own Micro 3D print, coverage secured on the day of the Kickstarter launch included Mail Online, Engadget, Mashable, and TechCrunch, just to name a few.

This latest award represents the second year running Dynamo has picked up honours at the PRMoment awards, previously the Golden Hedgehogs – last year winning Consumer PR Campaign of the Year for Making 3Doodler TIME Magazine’s invention of 2013.

Finally, a special shout out to #TheDress (our Mobile team moved fast to get hold of it last week, for Mail Online). Having worn it last night to attend the awards, we can confirm that the black and blue vs white and gold debate is still very much alive!

Avatar
By Dynamo Team
Categories: Awards, Crowdfunding, Events

ChapStick: check. Cold and flu tablets: check. A comfy pair of shoes: check.

As a CES virgin, I did my research before flying out to Sin City and arrived prepared.

But Las Vegas’ Consumer Electronics Show (CES to you and I) only becomes real once you’ve queued for 20 minutes and your press pass is around your neck.

So, this is what I learned from this year’s show: 

  1. Drones are taking over the world

For the very first year, CES had a dedicated area for ‘Unmanned Systems’, featuring drones in every shape and size; remote-controlled, autonomous, selfie-taking – you name it, there was a drone for it. I was fortunate enough to visit the Nevada desert with our client Hexo+, the world’s first self-flying camera, which was competing with AirDog, both autonomous drones, controlled via a smartphone and Bluetooth GPS, making drone filming and flying accessible for everyone.

  1. Kickstarter projects are on the rise

From crowdfunded drones, to smart inner-soles, to electric skateboards, there was a noticeable number of Kickstarter and Indiegogo stickers on company booths this year, promoting how they had launched their products, or if in prototype stage were planning to launch them. Indiegogo even manned its own stand this year, showcasing successful projects.

  1. Car tech is accelerating

Traditionally the biggest stands at CES are the largest tech companies but you certainly couldn’t miss seeing something automotive technology-related at this year’s show. BMW’s i3 electric cars displayed how they can find a parking space by themselves, while Audi’s autonomous A7 roamed the streets, and Ford announced a number of smartcar initiatives.

  1. Sony is in action mode

Is Apple planning a wearable camera? Who knows, but Sony could be one step ahead with its 4K handheld action cam offering. Sony had a big celebrity win through legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk unveiling its slick-looking water/shock/freeze-proof GoPro rival, which got the media seriously talking.

  1. Wearable tech is becoming more fashionable

Designs of many smartwatches have remained the same, however the Withings Activité Pop caught my eye, and was descried by TechCrunch as “one of the best-designed activity trackers to ever come to market”. Jaybird’s Reign is also very slick, but if you are more concerned about your pet’s health then perhaps you should invest in a FitBark, which tracks your dog’s fitness. Woof woof.

Despite some disappointment over no major announcements from the likes of Samsung, the forward-thinking innovation revealed by new start-ups on the scene and the large car manufacturers made CES 2015 a worthwhile visit, and the ultimate tech-filled start to 2015.

It’s that time of year again where we wish total strangers happy 2015, usually for a week or two longer than usual.

At Dynamo we wanted to introduce you to our brand new look – our website has been completely updated with a stunning design to kick-off the new year. We have expanded our team and office by knocking down another wall over Christmas and building a smart new meeting room. We have loads of new members of staff and are also on the look-out for new stars – check out our job advert on PRWeek.com.

Dynamo won more campaign awards in the PRWeek’s than any other agency in 2013, was declared PRWeek’s small agency of the year in 2014 and, in 2015, goes from strength to strength. Over Christmas we’ve worked with Yelp to find the seven chimneys Santa should visit (Mirror coverage here), worked out who’s the weaker sex when it comes to mistletoe for Twoo (Metro coverage here) and, today, have launched 3Doodler 2.0 – already raising £250,000 in crowdfunding in just one day.

Although we’re only five days into the new year, we’re already in the middle of a number of exciting campaigns, with senior team members launching some exciting new products at CES in Las Vegas this week. If you want to work with us, or for us, please let us know and if not please let others know. Otherwise, let us just wish you the best of health, wealth and happiness for 2015.

Peter Bowles
By Peter Bowles

Fresh from the blur of the holidays, journalists, PRs and tech companies will be making their way to Vegas for the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show – held across several hotels between January 6-9.

We all know there’ll be a myriad of exciting projects and inventions to see on the show floor, however, particularly if it’s your first time, there is much more beyond this that is worth being prepared for.

First off, here’s our pick of the top five parties/events/showcases that should be on your list. Plus, there’s every chance one of us will be there too, which is always nice. 🙂

1. CES Unveiled
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada | Sunday, January 4, 4-7 pm

It’s official, it’s BIG, and it’s the best way to kick off your CES experience. Over 1,200 press will be in attendance, and it describes itself as ‘the ideal occasion to build buzz and stand out in the days leading up to the show.’ Featuring a mix of start-ups and big names, this is not to be missed.

2. Startup Night Downtown Vegas presented by International CES
Gold Spike Casino | Monday, January 5, 6-9 pm

Not only an excuse to veer off the strip and see ‘classic’ Vegas, but also a chance to make acquaintances early on in a lively setting, and mingle with the minds behind some of the most exciting new startups on show this year. Free to attend, but be sure to RSVP!

3. Showstoppers @ CES
Wynn Hotel, Lafite Ballroom | Tuesday, January 6, 6-10 pm

A chance for hands-on demos with the top attractions, Showstoppers gives you the best of CES in one evening. Throwing in an open bar and some great food, expect to see the blogger, journalist and analyst elite engaging with the most innovative companies in the tech space.

4. Extreme Tech Challenge
Venetian, Level 1, Marco Polo 701 | Thursday, January 8, 2 – 3:30 pm

Less of a party, and more of a fun one for you Dragon’s Den/Apprentice fans. Watch 10 top innovators compete live on stage in front of a top-tier panel of tech industry experts. The winner receives a once in a lifetime prize: getting flown out to Richard Branson’s private island to pitch for investment from the man himself. Surely entertaining to watch, despite the lack of quizzical Nick Hewer looks.

5. CES Closing Party
Venetian, TAO | Tuesday, January 19, 10pm- 2am

Held at the 10,000 square ft nightclub, admission is free to all CES attendees, and worth getting to early for the open bar (which closes at 11:30), the official closing party is the most fitting way to send off an eventful week. Remember to bring your badges to get in, and spend your last night kicking back with friends old and new and congratulating yourself on a job well done.

So these are the main ones to enjoy!

Of course, if you hear of any private parties, or manage to beg, borrow or steal your way into some of the more exclusive events, be sure to take that opportunity up! (Or feel free to put one of our names down in your place, we honestly don’t mind).

If you want to see us on the strip, drop us a line at [email protected]!

Dynamo

Avatar
By Dynamo Team

On November 6th, Dynamo PR’s Head of Consumer Technology and Kickstarter, Heather Delaney, will give a crowdfunding PR masterclass for mobile brands in Bern, Switzerland.

Attendees will benefit from Heather’s experience gained from leading some of the world’s most successful crowdfunding campaigns, which have helped Dynamo’s clients raise $8,988,078 in funding during the last 18 months.

Heather will go through common errors that often result in the failure of funding campaigns on platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and share tips on what you should focus efforts on to maximise media interest, and drive backers to commit funds. You can buy tickets here.

Heather’s masterclass takes place at the annual Mobicamp event in Bern, Switzerland, a one day of plenaries and workshops where speakers share their knowledge and experience on everything from telecoms and software, the ever changing mobile ecosystems and app economy, to the entry of wearable technology from some of the world’s leading brands.

Mobicamp has been running since 2011 and sells out each year, although Early Bird tickets for this year’s event have sold out you can still buy one of the last remaining tickets here.

Dynamo PR is a sponsor of the event, other sponsors include SwissCom and CTI Invest.

The Dynamo Escape is unlike any company away weekend I’ve ever been on, largely because no one knows where they’re going until the morning of the trip. We were told to pack a passport and clothes for weather similar to the UK, that’s all.

Following a series of drip-fed clues on Pinterest, at 9am on Friday, it was announced that this year’s Dynamo Escape destination was Copenhagen! The largest Dynamo away weekend to date, all 16 of us were handed a mini itinerary (still very ambiguous) and made our way to Stansted Airport.

We were also briefed as to the theme of the weekend, and set tasks and training to complete – over the next few days we were going to explore the Danish creative scene, hear from local experts, and expected to draw from architecture, design and cuisine inspiration for our work with our clients and building Dynamo throughout the rest of the year.

Before we knew it we’d landed, checked in, and were bonding over Denmark’s finest, Carlsberg. Our first night in the Danish capital ended with an early nightcap in a pop up cocktail bar on Kompagnistræde Street, ahead of a mystery morning ‘biking activity’.

As we walked towards a row of what looked like tricycle-come-scooter-come-Segways, our first activity of the day was about to be revealed. We were going on an architectural tour of Copenhagen on Me-Movers. The three-hour long tour took us from the outskirts of the city into the centre, via new and historical landmarks including the harbour, quirky new-build flats and ‘Mountain Dwellings’ an award-winning designed multi-storey car park and home combination.

After sampling an open-sandwich by the canal in the Nyhavn district, our next stop was the theme park Tivoli Gardens. Armed with a multi-ride ticket we were ready to scream our heads off and get our adrenaline pumping. From ‘The Demon’ to the dodgems, to the oldest running wooden rollercoaster in the world, we made the most of our time in the theme park. There’s always those who aren’t coaster junkies, but the full Dynamo team stuck together and took a group ride on the famous wooden rollercoaster.

Before flying out we had been split into teams to work on a number of tasks for Dynamo, so between showering and getting ready to go out for dinner we met up in our respective groups to start brainstorming ideas and work up our presentation slides. The Kickstarter, mobile, digital and design teams were all mixed up giving us an opportunity to work together and share our different perspectives on the task.

Dinner was incredible; we ate at a Danish restaurant called Höst which served us over seven courses, each and every plate exquisitely presented and delicious. An awards ceremony (a Dynamo tradition) also took place; winning categories including ‘The best room-mate’, ‘The most hipster Me-Mover trick’ and ‘The World Record for the most hair flicks’, amongst others. We then all explored the Copenhagen nightlife…

There may have been a few weary heads in the room, but everyone made it down to breakfast in time and presentations kicked off at 11am sharp. It was refreshing to see so many creative and different ideas, and everyone presenting across the agency. There was a prize for the best pitch so the heat was on, and each team stepped up to the challenge.

Post the final pitches, our last day in Copenhagen was free for us to do as we wished. Many took advantage of the hotel spa, whilst others went sightseeing, shopped and checked out the local flea market.

The #DynamoEscape lives on and I can’t wait to see where we go in 2015!

Avatar
By Dynamo Team